A Guide to Drug & Alcohol Rehab: Mobile, AL

As the third most populous city in the state of Alabama, Mobile is situated on the Gulf Coast in the southeastern quadrant of the United States. Alabama, like much of America, is in the midst of an opioid crisis initially fueled by an extreme rate of prescription narcotics on the market. Mobile, AL has the fifth-highest rate of Painkiller prescriptions in the state. It now also includes spikes in abuse of heroin and the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Mobile, Alabama Drug Abuse Statistics

In 2019, marijuana was reported as the most misused drug in Alabama. Marijuana was followed by prescription opioids, cocaine, and heroin. The CDC reports heroin overdose deaths in 2019 included 140 in Alabama, 19 in Arkansas, and 39 in Mississippi. According to law enforcement, many drug users, who think they are buying pain pills such as OxyContin or Percocet, are unknowingly buying heroin or other opioids in pill form. In addition, there were 150 synthetic opioid overdose deaths in Alabama in 2018.

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free Mobile, Mobile, AL ranks as one of the top 10 worst areas in the state for drug and alcohol arrests. According to the data collected, more than 50 percent of the city’s high school seniors reported using marijuana, and over 58 percent said they drink alcohol. In Mobile, Alabama, heroin and opioid abuse is a major issue; however, methamphetamine and marijuana continue to be bigger drug threats in the region, the Lagniappe Weekly publishes. Methamphetamine abuse is the number one drug involved in violent crimes in Mobile.

Youth Drug Use in Alabama

According to the 2020 Alabama Epidemiological Profile: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Usage and Abuse, young people in Alabama have reported the following:

  • 8.2% of young people aged 12-17 reported alcohol use in the past month.
  • 4.3% of young people in Alabama, aged 12-17, reported binge drinking in the past month.
  • Approximately 5% of people aged 12-17 met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder.
  • 5.8% of 12 to 17-year-olds reported past month marijuana use.
  • 0.3% of 12 to 17-year-olds reported lifetime cocaine use.
  • 0.03% of young people aged 12-17 reported lifetime heroin use.
  • 4.1% of Alabama’s 12 to 17-year-olds reported misusing prescription pain relievers.

Mobile, Alabama Substance Abuse Factors

The unemployment rate and percentage of children living in poverty in Mobile County, which includes the city of Mobile, are both higher than state averages, the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHIP) 2016-2018 reports, which can contribute to poor mental health and a higher risk for drug and alcohol use concerns. Citizens within Mobile County also report more mental health issues than national averages suggest. For instance, the CHIP report explains that Mobile County residents report 4.3 mentally unhealthy days per month compared to national rates which are around half that.

Access to care, lack of health insurance coverage, and low household income rates can all increase stress levels and mental and behavioral health issues. According to the 2015-2016 Community Health Needs Assessment: Mobile County, Alabama, approximately 35.5 percent of Mobile County resident respondents cited mental health problems related to substance abuse as being one of the most important health issues in the county. The CHIP report also shows that residents of Mobile and Alabama as a whole indicate drug abuse as a major health concern in the region.

Household Income and Drug Addiction

Alabama’s poverty rate is higher than the United States average. In 2017, Alabama’s overall poverty rate was 16.9% for all ages compared to 13.4% in the United States. For ages 5 to 17 in families, the poverty rate is 22.8% compared to 17.3% in the United States. The median household income in 2017 for Alabama is $48,193 compared to $60,336 in the United States.

There are a number of ways that people with financial struggles can be more susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse. This includes increased stress, lack of social support, and limited access to healthcare. In a recent study, 45 percent of uninsured adults lacked health coverage simply because the cost was too high.

Mobile, Alabama Law Enforcement & Drugs

Woman with law boooks

Prior to the legislation, the meth initiative, and the inception of the Mobile County Sherriff Office’s (MCSO) narcotics team in 2008, pseudoephedrine sales in Mobile County were the highest among all 67 Alabama counties, Alabama Media publishes. Pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are ingredients found in common cold medicines that are used to make the illicit stimulant drug methamphetamine in clandestine laboratories.

Law enforcement began cracking down on meth labs and restricted the sale and purchase of over-the-counter (OTC) products containing these ingredients with measures like the passage of House Bill 363. This 2012 bill monitors the purchase of these OTC products by requiring individuals to show ID to obtain them and limits the amount any one person can purchase, classifying medications containing pseudoephedrine/ephedrine as controlled substances and including them in the electronic drug monitoring program.

While meth lab explosions and seizures have declined in the Mobile area in recent years, methamphetamine abuse is still a major drug threat. Alabama Media reports that the Interstate-10 (I-10) is a pipeline for a form of meth called “ice” that is being trafficked across the state and through Mobile, often from Mexico. The Mobile PD continues to work hard to disrupt the flow of the dangerous drug through the area and curb local abuse.

According to the Alabama Epidemiological Profile: Alcohol, Tobacco, Other Drugs Usage and Abuse 2016, Mobile County is the most populous of all 16 counties included in Region 4 of the profile. Residents of Region 4 struggle with some of the highest rates of adult alcohol use, youth and underage alcohol use, adult and youth binge alcohol use, youth and adult alcohol dependence, past-month tobacco use, and youth (age 12-17) nonmedical use of prescription drugs in the past year. Cocaine is considered the top drug threat in the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (GC HIDTA), per the 2015 Drug Threat Assessment, with marijuana, prescription drug abuse, and methamphetamine all being extremely prevalent in the region as well. The GC HIDTA includes other nearby states and counties within Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi as well as counties (including Mobile County) in Alabama.

Drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) are not only using personal vehicles and other methods of transportation into Mobile and the Gulf Coast region; they also use parcel post and the mail.

Law enforcement officials and collaborative efforts have been successful in curtailing and seizing quantities of drugs being sent through the mail within Alabama.

Mobile, Alabama Drug Laws & Prevention

Beginning in mid 2006, Alabama instituted mandatory reporting of controlled substances through the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) in an effort to regulate prescription drug diversion, misuse, and abuse. This system also helps providers to recognize potential issues and get help for those in need before drug misuse becomes a major problem.

To further curb prescription drug misuse, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed Executive Order 708 in the summer of 2017, which created the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council. This council is to delve into the opioid abuse and overdose epidemic plaguing the state to come up with recommendations and strategies to prevent misuse, minimize issues related to drug abuse, and reduce the number of drug overdoses and fatalities. Among other actions, the council has recommended that the Alabama PDMP be made more user-friendly and that access is improved to the potentially lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan (naloxone) for both first responders and the general public, Alabama Media reports.

The Alabama Public Health department reports that in 2015, the “Good Samaritan law,” HB208, was signed into law, which protects individuals who administer or prescribe the lifesaving opioid antagonist in Alabama. In 2016, HB379 allows for naloxone to be distributed in bulk to first responders and members of the general public as needed to overturn an opioid overdose.

Finding Alcohol & Drug Rehab, Mobile, AL

For the fiscal year (FY) 2014, nearly 100,000 Alabama residents received mental health services, the Alabama Community Health Improvement Planpublishes. Over 20,000 people in Alabama received services related to substance abuse while more than 75,000 residents used prevention services through the Alabama Department of Mental Health.

Public substance use services in Alabama, including:

  • Case management
  • Early intervention
  • Detox
  • Outpatient services
  • Medication management
  • Prevention services
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs)
  • Residential treatment
  • Transitional housing and services

The Division of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services handles both issues related to mental health and those involving substance abuse through a comprehensive system of public healthcare in Alabama. Public programs provide care for all residents, including those covered by Medicaid and individuals without health insurance or the financial ability to pay for treatment services. Programs are often funded by federal and state monies and grants.

Services are often community-based and localized. Private treatment options in Alabama also provide a range of comprehensive substance abuse and mental health treatment services and may be more readily accessible for immediate assistance.

Mobile, Alabama Mental Health & Substance Abuse Resources

Additional local resources for Mobile, Alabama, residents for mental health and substance abuse treatment services include the following:

  • Mobile County Health Department (MCHD): MCHD offers resources for residents for a variety of health-related topics and concerns.
  • Alabama Tobacco Quitline: This is a free service for Alabama residents wishing to quit using tobacco, providing information, referrals, and coaching.
  • 2-1-1 Connects Alabama: This telephone support is offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It serves as an initial point of contact that is free and confidential to help residents of Alabama find and connect with mental and behavioral health services within the local community.
  • United Way of Southwest Alabama: This group advocates for community resources and social issues and strives to improve and strengthen local communities.
  • Alabama Possible: This statewide nonprofit organization seeks to reduce potential barriers to prosperity and improve poverty levels through advocacy, education, and collaboration.
  • NAMI Alabama: This organization is comprised of local and state advocacy groups to improve education and reduce social stigma surrounding mental illness while supporting families and individuals struggling with mental health concerns.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Southwest Alabama Central Office: This 12-Step peer recovery support group offers local meetings and fellowship opportunities for residents in recovery wishing to remain abstinent from drugs and alcohol.

Addiction Treatment in Mobile, AL

If you are struggling with addiction and looking for rehab near Mobile, AL, Oxford Treatment Center provides a diverse selection of treatment approaches and options. From medical detox through inpatient or outpatient treatment, even into sober living and aftercare planning, the professional staff at Oxford Treatment Center has the right approach for you. Our residential treatment program offers quality evidence-based drug and alcohol rehab, comfortable housing, and recreational amenities.

Addiction treatment is an investment in your—or your loved one’s—health and happiness. At Oxford Treatment Center, we accept most types of private insurance plans. Find out more about drug and alcohol rehab coverage.

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